Entertainment

The First 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Teaser Reveals a Title and Brings Back Two Characters

Thanks to Star Wars Celebration, we finally know the title of the final Star Wars movie, we've finally seen some awe-inspiring footage, and we've seen surprise appearance from someone we didn't expect in a million years.

Star Wars Episode IX, which we now know is officially titled Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (ooooooh), will bring back not one, but TWO classic Star Wars characters we love (and also, in one case, fear). We already knew that Lando Calrissian, the last remaining member of the original crew, will swash his buckles all over the new movie and charm his way through Rey, Finn, Poe, and the rest. We get a delightful shot of him in the new teaser, laughing joyfully (and maybe a little maniacally) as he flies through space in the Millennium Falcon with Chewie.

But there is a second, and far more nefarious laugh that was this trailer's big surprise. Before we get to that, though, let's look at what else this teaser shows us: Rey doing some sort of badass kick flip jump over Kylo Ren's ship, Kylo giving a bunch of soldiers a beatdown and fixing the helmet he wore in The Force Awakens (and smashed to pieces in The Last Jedi), BB-8 and his adorable new droid friend D-O, Poe and Finn and C-3PO being chased through the desert, some sort of medallion (???), Rey hugging Leia (likely one of Carrie Fisher's few scenes in the movie), and??????? the Death Star?????? Or what's left of it at least, partially sunk in a windy ocean.

And then there's Emperor Palpatine's classic, bone-chilling laugh.

To confirm that he'd SOMEHOW be back, actor Ian McDiarmid sauntered out onstage at the Star Wars Celebration panel as soon as the trailer ended, and ordered them, in the Palpatine voice, to play it again, to the joy of all the fans gathered.

There's NO telling what his presence means -- though it probably has something to do with Luke's voiceover in the teaser about "a thousand generations" living inside, we assume, Rey. Is that metaphorical -- as in, in passing on his knowledge, Luke and all his predecessors live on with her? Or is there something way more mysterious going on?

And then, there's the title: The Rise of Skywalker. There are many, many things this title could mean. It could mean that Rey, as many theorizers have long insisted, is a Skywalker by birth. This would require Episode IX to almost totally retcon The Last Jedi, doing away with the oddly inspiring narrative that Rey isn't related to anyone special, she is in fact just a lowly orphan who happens to be Force-sensitive. OR it could be a massive troll from JJ Abrams, allowing us to think we know what's going on in his new movie before pulling the rug out. I know which one I'm hoping for.

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Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.